4.8/10
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13 user 3 critic

Sled Dogs (2016)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 28 July 2017 (USA)
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Filmmaker Fern Levitt examines the breeding and care of dogs raised specifically for sled dog racing.

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Filmmaker Fern Levitt examines the breeding and care of dogs raised specifically for sled dog racing.

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dog | sled dog | See All (2) »

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Wow look at all the hate for this film
19 April 2018 | by See all my reviews

"Omission of facts", "yellow journalism", "political grandstanding", Wow looks like several people have their panties in a bunch over this film. I'm going to take a guess that all of these 1 star, hate filled reviews are from people whose livelihood may be affected by the truth of this film.

This film isn't perfect, hence my six point score. But I cannot brush this aside as a "hack piece" attempting to paint the dog sledding industry in a bad light. There is simply too much truth in this movie that cannot be denied. Throughout my life every time I have seen pictures, or videos, or news stories about dog sledding I have seen the same images - many dogs in a yard chained to a stake in the ground with only a 3-8 foot long chain. That is cruelty. Anyone who thinks that such treatment is not cruelty should put a tight dog collar on their neck and chain themselves to a pole in one of these sled dog yards for one week. You cannot come off the chain at all for that week, and you will be provided water and food once a day just as the dogs get in the 7-8 months there isn't snow on the ground and they are left in the yards restrained 24/7. After your week on the chain then try to tell me or anyone else that such treatment is not cruelty.

Anyone can go to YouTube and search "dog sledding operations" and you will find many videos that show dogs in these dog sled kennels chained to posts exactly as described above. If this movie only represents two bad kennels, why can't I find any videos on YouTube showing dog sledding operations where the dogs are treated humanely and decently?

Finally, I have always had the skill of being able to read canine body language. Dogs do most of their communication via body language. I could have watched this movie with the audio muted and I would have come away with the same opinion. The body language of the dogs tells me everything I need to know; the dogs shown at the checkpoints during the Iditarod, the dogs at both Windrift and Krabloonik Kennels, and especially the scenes with the puppies starting their training at Windrift.

Dog sledding as a business is cruelty. If the Iditarod is to continue, it should respect the athlete dogs that participate and force the teams to use multiple sub teams that are relayed during the race so that no dog has to run in excess of 100 miles a day for ten or more days. I can only hope that this film gets a network platform to be seen so that more voices can be heard in the opposition to this treatment of sled dogs.


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